The Beach House

A grey, blustery morning. That was how I remembered it. I had woken up on a sandy beach and as I surveyed my surroundings, the glistening wet sand caught my eye. There was something unlikely about this beach, the sand gleamed brightly even in the gloomy atmosphere. Almost as if the grains of sand were like unpolished diamonds.

I didn’t know where I was going but my feet seemed to have a sense of direction of its own. Pretty soon I reached a house that had been hidden from view at the beach. It was nestled in a cove and stood grand over me, three stories tall.

There seemed to be no bells of any sort, so I pushed the iron-wrought gates and gingerly stepped up to the door. Again, there were no bells or knockers. I hesitated, turning to look back at the sea. The winds were strong that day and the waves plummeted against the beach with great intensity. I didn’t have anywhere to go, so I turned the doorknob and pushed.

What I saw inside was contrary of what was outside. There seemed to be some sort of afternoon party going on. The house was beautiful and grand, with wooden banisters and great chandeliers suspended from high ceilings. Basked in a bright orange hue, the room was filled with people milling around talking and laughing. As I stood at the entrance, it suddenly dawned that I knew these people.

There were my every relative except for the immediate members of my family, which was odd as they were rarely left out in such occasions. Still, I was buoyant that I had found them amidst the lonely grey beach. As the door swung to a quiet thud behind me, I was suddenly grabbed by my cousin. I couldn’t seem to remember which one, but something told me she was from my dad’s side of the family.

Without speaking, she smiled and took me on a tour of the house. I wasn’t sure to whom it belonged to but every room was beautifully decorated from the carpets to the furnitures to the most intricately designed curtain tassels. When we finished the second floor, my cousin distractedly drifted away and I was left alone.

The stairs leading up to the third floor was a spiral one and at the top a zebra’s head sat where the knob would be. I couldn’t bring myself to examine to see if it was real, for the fear that it might actually be.

The entire third floor appeared to be a huge room on its own. Plush-looking beds were fitting into alcoves along the walls, with lush drapes hanging over. A different theme from the rest of the rooms, this had the feel of a Mediterranean palace.

I was suddenly awashed with exhaustion and succumbing to the inviting calls of the beds I climbed into one and shut my eyes.

***

It was probably one of the best sleeps I had but without my watch I didn’t know how long was I asleep for. Slowly, I got up and made my way downstairs. Everyone was gathered in the large living room where the big windows were. They lined the entire length of the room and looked out to the sea. Something was different now, the atmosphere had quieten down and everyone seemed to be talking in hushed tones. It was as if they were anticipating something.

Several of them begin pointing at the windows, I turned to look and at first glance nothing seemed out of the ordinary. But with some hard squinting, I could see a faint blurry line stretched across the horizon. It wasn’t the line that was unusual but how it was becoming clearer and clearer.

It didn’t take long for me to realise that it was actually a huge tidal wave. And it was fast approaching the house. I turned back to see if anyone was doing anything about it but whilst everyone seemed to noticed it, there was no sign of alarm in the room. The hushed conversations carried on, its sounds evolving into the roar of the approaching wave. It was so loud that the windows started to crack.

“It’s coming!” someone yelled. And like a tyrannical monster, the wave charged at us. It was at once beautiful and terrifying, resulting in me being unable to avert my eyes. As it made its impact, time seemed to slow down. In slow-motion, I could see the windows shatter under the pressure. A deafening roar filled the room, so loud that I couldn’t even hear myself scream. I grabbed on to what must have been the banister and braced myself.

Like a ragdoll, my body was thwarted by the force. My lungs burned as water filled every inch of its cavity. I was reeling but I held on tight. At this point I wasn’t even sure if I was still in a room surrounded by people. All I could see were flashes of white and blue, between gasps of air and the taste of seawater.

Then as quickly as it came, the water receded, as if it was being tugged away by some strong horizontal gravitational pull. Gasping hysterically, I scrambled to get onto my feet. But I was gripped by what I saw.

I was alone in the room, or what was left of it. Even outside on the beach, there was no sign of any person or body. Filled with panic, I dashed through the front door. I didn’t want to run towards the sea for the fear of another wave so I made my way around the house.

Again, I had no clue where to go so I just ran and ran. It wasn’t long before I noticed the ground was littered sporadically with tall slabs of stones. Stopping to look, I realised they were tombstones. Names were etched on them but none were familiar to me.

My head started to hurt and my knees were beginning to buckle from running. I was dripping with a mixture of sweat and seawater. Uncertain of my actions now, I ran back to the house and climbed up to the third floor. It was the only part of the house that had remained untouched. Collapsing on one of the soft beds, it only took seconds before I fell into a deep, dreamless sleep.

***

It was probably one of the best sleeps I had but without my watch I didn’t know how long was I asleep for. Slowly, I got up and made my way downstairs. Everyone was gathered in the large living room where the big windows were. They lined the entire length of the room and looked out to the sea. Something was different now, the atmosphere had quieten down and everyone seemed to be talking in hushed tones. It was as if they were anticipating something.

Suddenly in horror, I knew what was coming.

Maroon(ed)

Is it a crime to sit in silence
While you watch the blood spill
A red as deep as the breath taken
You want to scream but you can’t
Torn between intentions
It’s a blindness that only you see
A pain that you too feel
So real, so true
And just as the blindness fades
You realise it was you

Algebra Love

Is there a way to love? What defines the legibility of love? What terms can we take comfort in knowing that we are genuinely loved? There is no single equation to what love is. I’d like to think every individual is a unique algebra equation, with an “X” figure that remains to be solved. But the right “X” has to complement the other functions in the equation before it can be deemed solved.

And just like algebra, we get the easy ones and we get the tough ones. The more functions and unknowns present in the equation, the more weight the “X” would need to fulfill in completing the equation.

I could perhaps be oversimplifying love, I guess I just wanted to make a point that love can be easy, but it can be also pretty darn tough as well.

But that is not to say that the equation can’t be solved. It just takes a little more time and dedication.

Rescinded

Raindrops fall carelessly down. I’m curled up in my parked car, lights off, slow music in the background.

It’s one of those nights again. One where I scramble to find the misplace piece. It’s a conundrum that’s been creeping up on me of late. There’s something amiss. And I don’t know what,  or why.

Yet another pursuit to find peace of mind. But what’s there left?

That space between me and -.

And They Have Escaped the Weight of Darkness

I’ve been listening to the same music album for the past three days, which is something I rarely do. Although maybe because this is instrumental but I can’t help but ponder what’s belying this. I don’t know, maybe it’s an intentional act of ignorance that I so often catch myself doing when approaching a subject matter of thought that I know will require me to yield a conclusion.

It’s like I relish being in a state of ambiguity. A languid state of affairs. What moves from side to side but not forwards and back. I would say this phase that I’m in is completely alien to me. Unfamiliar. It feels difficult identifying the emotions and thoughts I am having. What is it that is making its way into this vessel.

Detached. Yes, I feel detached. More so than ever before. Despite the healthy social calendar I have, I feel quieter on the inside. The only sound is the constant monologue in my head. Even that I have chosen to pay selective attention to.

I am deviating from my id.

Title of post refers to the said music album,

Tying Up Loose Ends

This is not a game.

As I constantly remind myself of that, I find it hard to be convinced that I’m truly the only person trustworthy enough to make decisions for myself. At the same time,  I do not trust others. And that bothers me tremendously because if I don’t trust myself and others included, who then is making these decisions for me?

Ignorance perhaps. And that terrifies me even more. I feel as though I’m flitting between these ideas of denial and reality, choosing as and when to enter these different realms as I please. A controlled form of ignorance if you will. I find that I’m inclined to believe every action or decision I make will lead to a didactic result. That “hey, if something goes wrong at least you learned something.” But I can’t help but think that maybe that approach is wrong.

We talk of not being afraid to make mistakes, that it is okay to fail and fail as long as we keep trying. That eventually you will get it. But what if the reason we tell ourselves that is because we don’t know any better than to latch onto the first thing we think we feel most passionately about and commit all of our energy and time into it just because we are told to follow our passion. What if we mistake passion for something we love but are not actually good at. How does one ever reach the apex being blinded like that?

Is it possible for one to be selfish towards oneself? Because in order to sustain that “passion” one forgoes other eventualities that could perhaps bring a more desirable result. Life is too short to be dedicated to only one thing. But that is what we are told, that we are only able to truly love one thing. That is what saddens and frightens me – that life is indeed a game, where we all play to only achieve that one solitary goal.